We’re thrilled to share the news that Galway has been voted the fourth best city in the world to visit.
Renowned travel guide Lonely Planet has listed Galway as the fourth best city in the world to visit for travellers and tourists in 2020.
The Connacht city claimed the accolade in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2020 awards, an annual collection of the best travel destinations, journeys, and sustainable travel for the year ahead.
To compile the list, Lonely Planet asks everyone, including their writers, editors, and online list of social media influencers, to put forward their favourite destinations overlooked by most travellers or familiar hotspots with obvious reasons to return.
A panel of travel experts then shortens the list to 10 countries, 10 regions, 10 cities, and 10 best-value destinations. Here are some of the results!
The top 10 cities
Ahead of Galway in the list was Salzburg in Austria, the American capital of Washington, D.C., and Cairo, the capital of Egypt, while Bonn, Germany, finished behind Galway in fifth.
The remainder of the top ten included La Paz (Bolivia), Kochi (India), Vancouver (Canada), Dubai (UAE), and Denver (USA).
Galway the place to be
Reacting to the result, Galway 2020 chief executive Patricia Philbin said “It’s official – Galway is the place to be in 2020!” Philbin said this was “a fantastic endorsement of this incredible place on the western edge of Ireland and at the heart of Europe.”
“As 2020 approaches,” Philbin continued, “we are inviting people from right around the world to come and experience Galway in this special year.”
European Capital of Culture 2020
The result of the Lonely Planet awards coincides with the fact that the Irish city is set to be the European Capital of Culture for 2020, with twelve months of cultural activities to take place across the city from February 2020 to January 2021.
Each year, the European Union designates one or more cities as the European Capital of Culture. The Galway 2020 plans are split into four different stages throughout the year: February-April, May-July, August-October and November-January.
The themes of language, landscape and migration will be to the fore of the Galway 2020 events, in a year that will showcase the very best of Galway’s revered culture.
Lonely Planet described Galway City as “brilliantly bohemian” and is “arguably Ireland’s most engaging city.” The travel guide marvelled at Galway’s “brightly painted pubs” and the cafes “that offer front-row seats to watch buskers perform.”
Vice President of Experience at Lonely Planet, Tom Hall, spoke of Galway as “exuberant, vibrant and full of imagination” and that “Galway in 2020 will be home to a year-long celebration and amplification and creativity which travellers will love.”
Ahead of 2020, Lonely Planet informs its readers to “expect street spectacle, live and digital art as well as world-class music, theatre and dance.”